Have you visited the Currier lately? If not, you should visit the newly renovated Currier Museum of Art in Manchester, NH. Featuring some of the world's best known artists, painters and sculptors the museum is a bright and modern facility where you can spend several hours browsing, learning and enjoying the everchanging world of art.
Visitors are greeted by a towering sculpture entitled "Origins" that is over 35 feet tall at the entrance of the museum. The bold red and grey structure was created by Mark di Suvero and may be seen from the adjacent streets. Inside the entrance there is the main desk, a shimmering gift shop and a diorama of the Zimmerman House encased in glass.
The grounds on which the museum stands were bequeathed by NH Governor Moody Currier (1884-86) and wife Hannah to establish a place where the general public could appreciate art. Governor Moody had previously held positions as a principal at Hopkinton Acadamy and as president of the Amoskeag Bank thus giving him a good social standing. He and his wife were active patrons of the arts, although they were not themselves artists. The Currier Gallery of Art was established after Mrs. Moody's death in 1915.
The building, renovated and reopened in 2008, has ample space for studios, a library, and an auditorium along with a cafe and Winter Garden. There are padded wooden benches for viewing in many areas.
The highly polished parquet wood floors, beautiful tile work and modern upscale design would rival museums in any international city. In fact, the museum has received an award from the American Institute of Architects.
In the galleries, you will find works of Claude Monet, Childe Hassam, Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse, as well as more modern artists such as Georgia O"Keefe and Jon Brooks. The upper level contains antique furnishings, Samuel Dunlap chest of drawers, Grandfather clock by Levi Hutchins and several silver items made by Paul Revere. An original Tiffany shade is also on display. Many more artists are represented at the Currier.
For children visiting, the Currier has a special activity center called The Discovery Center on the main floor. Within it, there are coloring and sketching tools, and information about printing in forms of displays and videos. A gallery of artwork made by previous visitors is displayed on the wall. Maybe your little ones would like to add theirs to the collection!
The lower level hallways contain more works of art including one area that presents work done in the onsite studios. This work is for sale and interested parties may inquire at the front desk.
In addition to maintaining the museum, the Currier offers trips to the Zimmerman house, a Frank Lloyd Wright design and the only one in this area. Visitors are shuttled to the house from the museum; you must reserve a spot as spaces are limited. There is an additional cost for this trip.
The Currier Museum of Art is open daily except Tuesdays. Admission is free on Saturdays from 10 AM-12PM. For more info visit http://www.currier.org. or plan to visit the museum at 150 Ash St. Manchester.